I'm thinking of getting a nice rangefinder mainly for practice, out plinking, and to verify distances as I learn to range with a mil-dot reticle.
I'm starting my research here now, but I thought I'd ask around here too.
I'm on my 2nd Leica. I only sold the first because I saw a great buy on one with more features and a longer reach.
Very pleased with Leica's RF's.
The Sig Kilo line has gotten some great reviews, too. I haven't handled one, but they are being well received by customers.
Keep in mind.... MOST rf's will state a max distance, and you need to cut that in half for anything but a highly reflective target (road sign, house, etc). Leica tends to be more capable of hitting non reflective targets at stated distances than most. Not sure where the Sig stands in that regard.
So when you see an 800 yard RF, plan on 400 for it's reach on non reflective targets. Just FYI.
I would also not put a big premium on angle measurement. For bowhunting, and even most PA rifle hunting distances, it isn't steep enough/long enough of a shot to make much difference.
I just returned recently from a prairie dog hunt in S D and I was ranging PD with no problem past 700 yards with Sig kilo 2200. My buddy was using a Leica but he probably paid $500 more then I did for the sig.
Since this is posted in the ARCHERY thread I will chime in with 2 that I have used. Opti-logic and Halo XRT-7, both work well at ranges you would need for bow hunting and with coupons and being on sale both under $100. Also, being an experienced 3-d shooter and bowhunter there are several instances where the angle compensation is needed!
They would be very specific circumstances and longer distances.
I've had angle finding RF's and have looked purposely for situations where the angle of the shot made for a effective difference that would make or break a hunting shot. I really never found any...high stands, steep hills, I never found anything under 40 yards where it would have really mattered. I'm sure some folks hunt steeper terrain....but it'd have to be real steep or your shots real long.
As for why we're including non-archery features...it seems to make sense to buy an RF that can pull all types of duty one might as of it. Having a very short range capable RF is fine if you ONLY hunt with a bow.
And there are more uses of an RF than planning a shot. I use mine a lot to make sure I can find the exact spot an animal was when I took my shot. Take the shot, game takes off....range the spot it stood, get some land marks. Go over there and everything looks different. Is that white rock the one I was looking at, or is it that one over there?
I'll actually take a compass bearing (use my phone if I don't have a compass), then a range. Go down there, get on the right bearing, get to the right distance (by ranging back to my stand/spot), and I'm in the right spot. I use this as much, or more, for rifle hunting, than I do for bow hunting actually, especially if the animal was out in a field. It's near impossible to get the exact spot of the animal when shot when it was out in a field...but with a compass bearing and range, you're gonna get that spot.
Back to the angle thing for moment...I will range trees at my height so as to remove the angle issue. Sometimes for kicks while things are slow, I'll range the marker trees high at my height, then again at their base. I've never found much inside 40 yards where it was off by more than a yard. Maybe 2.
tdd, with the speed of today's bows and --------- the difference is less than it was 15-20 years ago but there is a difference! If we were able to make a perfect shot every time we hit the release or trigger it would matter less. However this is not the case!
I have a Bushnell scout 600 and like tdd mentioned above I have shot out to 50 yds and have been up in a tree 30' and I have checked the range of trees the same height up that i'm in the tree and then range the ground and it was only 1 yd difference in most cases ! I've had this RF before they ever came out with the angle compensating ones and have never had a problem with it !
Leica. I had a copy of all the rangefinders Sportsmen Warehouse had on the counter. Ranged everything I could in the store. Finally had the manager walk me outside with a Leupold and a Leica. Leica hands down the best in optics. And this is from a diehard Leupold fan.
What is good for another may not be good for you. Do a hands on evaluation with as many as you can. Look at the clarity of the optics.